Thursday, June 8, 2017

A STEP TOWARDS SKILL DEVELOPMENT

AASRA, the social service wing of NITR has been working from years to uplift the poor. Our volunteers go around Rourkela and teach underprivileged children. But success isn’t restricted to classroom scoring. Many of these kids are left without jobs after their 12th. Many are known to leave studies after their 12th, find petty jobs and work on a wage, or get married. That is when we realized that we needed something to help these kids secure a bright future.


The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana(PMKVY) is an initiative by the Government of India under the Ministry of Skill Development and Enterpreneurship. It aims to prepare today’s youth in Industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. To help some children who had fewer resources, we at AASRA identified a few kids from our workplaces who could be potential benefactors of this program. Since we go around a lot of places in Rourkela, the search wasn’t difficult for us. We sat down with them and talked about the pros of this program, how they could benefit from this and get good jobs in the future. Trades under this program were discussed with these students, to help identify their interests or skills they could take up in the future as a career. Many children from Sector-21 and OSAP Colony fulfilled the necessary requirements
enlisted by the program. AASRA visited Chhend center on the 8th of April, because Chhend has been under PMKVY for a while now. After thoroughly examining the facilities, placement records, course curriculum etc. available, we came to a conclusion that the program would indeed benefit these underprivileged children in building them a fruitful career in the future. The kids we teach are no less than family for us, and we were ready to do anything for their sake.






On the 10th of April, 2017, the Central Manager of the PMKVY Center at Chhend visited sector 21 for the counselling and survey process for the project. In a brief meeting that was held with the children, they were provided the details of the whole program. A final list of students with their respective trades/courses of interest was made. The Central Manager promised to return in two days with the brochures and forms in order to complete the formalities necessary. A special mention to the zonal head of this program, who assured AASRA personally that he would take care of these children for us; thus supporting us as a collaborator in achieving our motive, to provide these kids the career they deserve. He praised us for our work, told us that what we were doing for these kids is noble. Such positive remarks get us going. They fuel our passion to work and serve for a better tomorrow. These children were all-set to have a successful career now, thanks to PMKVY.

With a lot of joy, we’d like you to know that on the 1st of May, 2017, the enrollment of the enlisted candidates was finally done for PMKVY and Skill Mission Program of the Government of India. This was just the first batch of candidates of AASRA enrolled under Placement based skill development programs. We at AASRA, along with the skill center wish to help many more children beyond our workplaces, in hopes of helping more children. We know that there are thousands out there in need of help and direction. Even something as big as changing the world begins with one small step at a time, and we had taken our first steps.



On 21 May 2017, a few of our volunteers visited the PMKVY center at Chhend with the selected trainees from OSAP and Sector-21. Some kids would be trained in Hospitality(Hotel Management), some as solar panel technicians and some as industrial sewing machine operators. The trainees seemed glad after visiting their classrooms, labs and hostel areas. A seminar was held on the 28th of May at NIT Rourkela, where the state head of PMKVY Centers and other officers were present. The attendees, mostly students of class 10, 12 and +3 or above were told of this program and its benefits. They learned the importance of skill development and were motivated towards achieving their goal. We’re pretty sure that these kids will now work hard to acheieve this goal. We hope that these kids follow the footsteps of their seniors and work hard in building themselves a successful career.








You’ll be very happy to know that a total of 4 people started training in their course on the 1st of June, and the rest will begin anytime now. AASRA thanks each and every one of its volunteers who made it possible for these lesser privileged children to train for a bright future. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A STEP TOWARDS SAVING LIFE

 Each year several thousands of patients during surgeries or transplantations require blood transfusions.Unfortunately a large chunk of this group succumbs to the unavailability of the compatible blood type in the blood banks. Hence the need for blood donation is of humongous importance. Not known to many,that the blood donated by a single person can be utilized for at least three patients, since three major components of blood can be successfully derived out of it. This shows the high relevance of blood donations in saving several priceless lives.


In an ingenuous attempt to provide assistance in saving the lives of patients in need of blood, AASRA organized a Blood Donation Camp on 18th March in collaboration with the CWS Hospital. The camp began at about 10AM, with volunteers swarming into the hospital premises on the basis of the information circulated amongst the students almost a week before.The volunteers were first asked to fill up a form where they provided certain basic information relating to their health status. On the basis of the data they submitted, the volunteers were cross examined by the doctors to make sure that firstly, they were fit enough to donate blood and secondly, whether the donated blood could be safely transfused when needed to do so. After the requisite health checkup the volunteers were called into the chamber where the doctors collected the blood. Disposable syringes were used and the collected blood was stored as per standard medical protocol.


















Finally this noble step was a humongous success and we take pride in our attempt to provide a minuscule help in helping save a few more valuable lives. The current need of the hour is to encourage people to be a part of this noble cause through awareness regarding its inconceivable pertinence in medical treatments. It’s worth mentioning that a considerable portion of the educated mass is still not free from the clutches of the vintage archaic myths associated with blood donations which include “lessening of blood content”, “weakness”, “infliction with other diseases” and the list is unfortunately endless. It’s very essential to remove people from these messy superstitions at first. Only then can we rightfully ensure our blood banks to be self-sufficient in every blood group, even the rarest ones.


                                                                                    

Friday, December 9, 2016

LITTLE'S SCIENCE YARD 2K16



Abiding by the ethos of modern development,  AASRA came up with an idea of exposing the kids of our workplace to the concept and culture of Science Exhibitions. The core blueprint of this plan was to divide the entire lot of students in our workplaces into teams of 3-4 headed by a team member. After the projects were finalized and the required budget for each project was allocated, the titanic task of preparing the models began in full swing. The team members visited the workplaces to make sure the students understand the underlying concepts of each project that they would represent in the exhibition.  Decentralising all the tasks like arranging the transportation, food and refreshment, printing of ID Cards and Invitation Cards was done to ensure the smooth organization of the event. This event was to be a part of the Institute’s gigantic technical festival INNOVISION, the largest of its kind in Eastern India.

















The event was immensely praised by the visitors who thronged the venue and boosted up the confidence and interest of the young minds- which was the entire sole motive behind organizing this event. The kids were provided lunch at the Institute Guest House and spent the entire day with us. The kids were so excited when they saw the guests and visitors attending the event, that their enthusiasm served as a fuel which kept us on our toes throughout the event in spite of the exertion baggage that we were carrying on our back since quite a few days to ensure a smooth organization.

The entire day-long event ended with a prize distribution ceremony. The kids were brimming with joy upon getting gifts and prizes and their smiling faces served as the biggest reward for the efforts that we all had put in, to make this event a success.

DIYAS FOR LIGHTING UP




In an attempt to provide the taste of self-employment and in an effort to inculcate within the people that harnessing their time and potential can make them financially independent, AASRA came up with a unique concept –“Diya Project”.


We provided the members of our designated workplaces with the raw materials required for making decorative diyas. Wax was given the shape of Diyas with a wick to light it up. It was then decorated with glittering colours and made as attractive as possible. All this work was done by men and women of our workplaces, who sincerely worked diligently. Their commendable hard work and sincerity combined with their unflinching commitment and conformity to complete the tasks within the allotted time span is a lesson worth learning by each one of us. All this was in a near-completion mode by the end of the Durga Puja Vacation.


Just after the vacation ended, the herculean task of taking orders for selling the diyas began. All the members actively spent their evening hours roaming all through the staff quarters in the entire campus to collect as many orders as possible. Most of the faculty members know about this noble project of AASRA. Most of the faculties and staff generously took the offer of buying Diyas, which were available in three different sizes and had some really good combo offers as well. Not just staff quarters, our diyas were in great demand among the student fraternity as well , with a colossal order received from the girls hostel and some of the boys hostel as well. To the utter amazement of the entire team , this year we witnessed a prodigiously high demand , which was high enough for the managing team to send orders to immediately stop taking any further orders.








Finally, we arrived at the last and final step of this mammoth project- the distribution of diyas. Again this was successfully accomplished with the collective effort of the entire team. And finally, all this four-month-long task resulted in a Diwali that lighted up not just the houses of the privileged ones, but also the less fortunate ones outside the campus could celebrate a better Diwali.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A SMALL STEP TOWARDS CLEANLINESS

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is a saying that’s instilled into every school going child from a young age. But what about those children, who haven’t had the opportunities and the understanding to realise the various areas of life this applies to? That’s where Aasra’s initiative comes into picture. A whole week was dedicated to encourage and create awareness about the importance of hygienic conditions. In the workplaces frequented by Aasra members, interactive skits were performed over a span of two days, elaborating on personal as well as surrounding hygiene.

On the first day, the drive was initiated and plays were enacted in sector 5 and 6, this day was accomplished successfully, positively affecting a multitude of people. 








The second day saw the enthusiastic children of OSAP involving with the members and eagerly learning how maintaining basic hygiene can prevent diseases, just by observing certain practices which may be as simple as turning away when one has to sneeze or cough, taking regular baths, the use of soap and the necessity of drying clothes in the sun to ensure that germs are killed effectively.


Finally, these values were inculcated among the kids in sector 2. 













Overall, the Cleanliness drive was an exemplary initiative taken by the members of Aasra, which helped children in the workplaces as well as the organisers of the strategy learn and grow. One side gaining knowledge about the things that plague the daily life of so many people in our country, and the other and experience of making a big difference in the years to come for these children.









Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sweet Summer Treats: Workplace Picnic (Sector 21)

A wise person once quoted : All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy.



A day off from the routine work, the volunteers from Sector 21 decided to take the kids for a trip, a post-exam treat for those tiny bundles of joy (and torture, when it comes down to disciplining them during the study hours).



Generally, the day doesn't begin until the caffeine kicks in, but the excitement in the air was a perfect wake-up call. Desouza's School's playground may have seen bigger crowds, but we're pretty sure that Aasra's lot was the noisiest ever to picnic on those grounds. 







The picnic, on the 10th of April, began with the small games, like catch, badminton, cricket, carrom, or just kids chasing around and playing hide-and-seek, the old way. 

And then, the most awaited part of the day. LUNCH! 
Lunch was amazing, with Aasra's volunteers cooking food for the kids, with hired help.
 



After a sumptuous feast, the games resumed and went on till the sun went down. But just like all good things come to an end, the picnic came to an end in the evening, with Aasra's volunteers dropping the kids back off to their homes. 
The day went great, leaving everyone related to Sector 21 with a lot to cherish. It's true, the only thing money can't buy you is happiness(But it can fund your picnics, which are pretty close to happiness too!).






Monday, April 4, 2016

50 Shades of Happiness : HOLI 2k16






Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but a life by what we give.


This Holi bought out various shades of happiness in many kids of several of our workplaces, with our members going to Sector 2, Sector 5, Sector 6, Sector 21 and OSAP colony. An assortment of colors, water balloons and water guns resulted in wide smiles on the faces of those kids, and their families, who enthusiastically joined in along with their kids, as they had to give in to the cheers of joy of their children. And to add to the frolic, the kids were treated with sweets and drinks. True, it may be a lot of work when it comes to teaching those notorious kids and controlling their mischief, but the happiness we saw on their faces, that is the key to our survival, our prime goal and our only hope. The joy we witnessed on that day is something we never have, but that happiness is a drug we can not live without. So here's to a very memorable Holi and dozens more to come! :)